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Miami Beach man arrested in death of girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter

Police say Dennys Llopiz claimed girl slipped, fell on rocks while fishing

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A Miami Beach man is facing a murder charge after his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter was found unresponsive at their home Friday and later died, police said.

Authorities said Dennys Llopiz, 27, first told police that the girl fell in the shower after soiling herself. He then said she slipped and fell on some rocks while fishing under a bridge with her mother the day before, an arrest report stated. However, the girl's mother told police she had not gone fishing with them.

Police said Llopiz called 911 to report that the child was unresponsive.

The girl was rushed to Mount Sinai Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Her grandmother identified her as Skylar Hartley.

Skylar Hartley, 3, was found unresponsive at Dennys Llopiz's Miami Beach apartment. She later died at a hospital.
Skylar Hartley, 3, was found unresponsive at Dennys Llopiz's Miami Beach apartment. She later died at a hospital.

"She was beautiful," Janet Robinson said. "She's the cutest little thing and she loved her daddy so much. She loved me so much, her papa bear and her other grandparents."

During an autopsy Saturday, Miami-Dade County chief medical examiner Dr. Emma Lew determined that the cause of death was blunt-force trauma and the manner of death was a homicide.

The girl's large intestines and bowels were bruised, as was the diaphragm, her right lung was bruised and the air sacks inside her lungs were ruptured, the autopsy revealed.

There was also bruising to the girl's forehead, back and buttocks, Lew observed.

Robinson said she last saw her granddaughter in July when she drove to Orlando to see loved ones. She said the trip replayed in her head when she learned her granddaughter was dead.

"I sat there for an hour screaming," she said. "Jeffrey didn't know what happened. I couldn't even drive here. I live in Tampa. It's five hours and I couldn't drive."

Skylar and her father, Jeffrey Hartley.
Skylar and her father, Jeffrey Hartley.

Skylar's father, Jeffrey Hartley, told Local 10 News reporter Carlos Suarez that his daughter's mother notified him about her death late Friday night. 

"She was amazing, dude," he said. "There are no words that can explain how great she was. It's unreal. She was the most happiest child I've ever seen. I loved her and and she loved me."

Hartley said he always worried about the people Skylar's mother surrounded herself with, including Llopiz. 

"She's always had boyfriends that I always felt weren't as good for my daughter to be around, and I would always tell her and warn her about things like this, and her response was always, 'No, not to my baby,'" Hartley said.

According to Hartley, he and Skylar's mother separated about a year after their daughter was born. He said they didn't have a court-ordered custody arrangement and he would see his daughter whenever the mother allowed it. 

A GoFundMe page has been created to help pay for Skylar's funeral arrangements.